This is an incredible cause — and it just proves the power of celebrity in helping to push an issue to the forefront!
Back in 2009 in Michigan, more than 11,300 rape kits were found abandoned in a Detroit Police Department storage unit, and the evidence therein of womens’ rapes by all sorts of unknown perpetrators was left completely ignored and untouched.
Since then, the Michigan Women’s Foundation and a group called Enough SAID have put together something called the African American 490 Challenge in an effort to raise money to get every single one of those rape kits fully tested in an effort to find justice for the victims (each kit costs $490 to test, hence the project’s name).
Now, Erykah Badu is joining in the fight in the BEST way, and she deserves a lot of credit for quite literally putting her money where her mouth is!
The singer is hosting a concert at Detroit’s Chene Park Amphitheater on August 12, the proceeds of which she will be donating to AA490 in an effort to get as many of those kits tested as possible!!
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy — who worked alone for years trying in vain to find justice for the thousands of female victims — was ecstatic about the news, saying:
“This is a huge day for Enough SAID/AA490. Everyone knows that Erykah Badu is a major, major talent in the music and song-writing industry. For her to lend her name, talent and time to this work is nothing short of a miracle. Justice for these forgotten sexual assault victims has been given a phenomenal assist.”
Badu’s partner in the concert’s production, Right Productions and its CEO Shahida Mausi, revealed that the 490 Challenge would get $5 from every ticket purchased for the August 12 concert, plus ALL the proceeds from both the pre-concert $100-per-ticket reception, AND the $1,000-per-person VIP meet-and-greet with Badu after the show!!!
Mausi was ecstatic to be partnered with Badu for such a good cause, telling the media:
“Together, we stand for justice. We are honored to make Chene Park the site for great artistry supporting a great mission.”
490 Challenge president Kim Trent added:
“It should come as no surprise that an artist with Erykah Badu’s impressive history of social consciousness would join forces with the black women leaders of Detroit to address this important social issue. We are very excited that she is lending her considerable talent to our cause.”
Obviously, it’s unacceptable that this many thousands of rape cases was back-logged and lost by the Detroit PD.
But if you’re going to overcome such a horrible ordeal, this is exactly the kind of effort to get us started!
Good for everybody involved who is working to find a solution and get these kits tested!!
[Image via Judy Eddy/WENN.]